This International Women’s Day, tell us how grandmothers inspire you

For this International Women’s Day (March 8th), join us in making a public declaration – honour the grandmothers in your life and tell us how they motivate you!  Write a story, email us a note, post a tweet, share a photo or create a video to tell us how you have been inspired by the African grandmothers, the Canadian Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign, your grandmother, or a grandmother in your community.

Grandmothers in Africa and Canada have inspired us and continue to motivate us. The AIDS pandemic has left millions of children orphaned by AIDS. With compassion and fortitude, Africa’s grandmothers have stepped in to care for them. They have become the lynchpins of survival for their families and communities; they are advocates pushing for rights and protection; they run small businesses to support their families; and they are the invaluable home-based care workers who bring care and solace to people struggling with HIV and AIDS in their communities.

The Canadian Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign began in March 2006, in direct response to the emerging crisis faced by African grandmothers struggling to hold their families and communities together. What began with a handful of groups of committed Canadian grandmothers has grown into a dynamic social movement of thousands of women across the country – made up of Grandmothers and ‘Grand-others’, they are the embodiment of solidarity – raising awareness about and funds to support African grandmothers to turn the tide of AIDS in Africa.

For this years’ International Women’s Day send us your acclamations and reflections and together we will honour the many elder statewomen – African, Canadian or otherwise – who are so powerfully transforming lives, families and communities!  In the lead-up to March 8th we will feature your submissions on the Foundation’s Blog. You can also share your reflections with us directly via Facebook or Twitter (use the hashtag #granspiration).

We’re going to spread the message far and wide – through our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, and creating Art that will be shared with Canadian and African grandmothers!

How do grandmothers inspire you? Tell us and tell THEM!

Email or regular mail:
Email your 200 word story to or mail it to the address below. Content will be posted on the Foundation’s blog in the weeks prior to International Women’s Day and will be featured on March 8th. You are also welcome to submit photos and captions, as well as links to any videos you have filmed.

Stephen Lewis Foundation
260 Spadina Avenue, Suite 501
Toronto, ON M5T 2E4

Send a tweet to @stephenlewisfdn or tweet a photo of your grandmother,a link to a blog entry you have written or a video you have filmed. @stephenlewisfdn will retweet your messages in the weeks leading up to International Women’s Day and on March 8th.  Remember to use the hashtag #granspiration.

Post your photos, videos and stories about how grandmothers inspire you on the wall of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Facebook page.

Share your story through a 90 second video! Send us a link to your video and we will share it via our blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts. Or send the actual video file to, and we will post it on our YouTube Channel.

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  • Frank amos Msigwa

    thanks and congrautulation for knowing that grandmothers are inspired us,it is 100percent true like the village which am doing horticulture farming their is many grandmothers living with orphans and they have no power to produce food for the orphans so they live very difficult life and many children are not going to school because their is no one to take care for them after the death of their parents,their is tide of aids in africa especial in the comment is to assist those families in africa especial in villages

  • Samuel Okumu

    Am working for agroup formed by and for HIV positive Widows in small town called Homa Bay in Kenya.The way they are struggling to support the orphans they were left with and when compared with your activities.I feel strongly to put them to you and share with them all in common.They have formed the group mainly to reduce stigma which has been one of the most obstacle in tacling HIV prevention in Kenya.Their goal is to partnership with other organiztions to overcome self and societal stigma,engage in stimulating community responses and influence policies and services provisions in order to reduce significantly HIV infections and and deaths.On their behalves,we are requesting to share all that we are facing with you and forge way forward togather.With one question which is burning,would you allow men who are also HIV positive to join Grandmothers to grand mothers?.
    Thank you very much for showing your cooperation.Details of the groups will be communicated.
    Samuel for HIv positive Widows.Samuel is HIV positive Counselor who has done more to ensure that all these widows live apositive living.

  • Samuel Okumu

    What inpire me most is realize that your organization is fighting to reduce HIV and support those who are HIVpositive women.This is one of my dreams of helping HIV positive people and to reduce stigma among the HIV people in the society mainly at grassroot level where mojority are living below abject poverty.
    Samuel fot positive living people and for all vulnerable groups.

  • Samuel Okumu

    Finally is there aforum where individuals do share their expriences of HIV positive living so as to join for those willing to share their expriences with grand mother to grandmothers in canada?.Iwould be if we may be contacted through this e-mail address,
    Samuel for positive widows in Homa Bay Kenya.

  • Frances Bauer

    Often I think of my maternal grandmother, who died when my own mother was only 18 years old. Seven times she gave birth; only three daughters reached adulthood. One daughter died at 14 of diabetes before insulin was discovered; two others of childhood diseases. Her first child and only son was stillborn.

    Such losses are not uncommon in the developing world, but for us in Canada in the 21st century they are nearly unthinkable. On the other hand, the grandmothers in Africa know about such loss and with courage I imagine my own maternal grandmother shared they continue to love, to care and to build the future. True heroes indeed!

  • Paul Phiri

    Despite living under high levels of poverty, SEVERE food insecurity, economic hardship ,high HIV/AIDS PREVALENCE, gross family disintegration and poor housing, the African Grandmothers struggle to care for their orphaned grand children. Most Grand parent/households keeping orphans in Zambia eat once the other day and live on far less than $1 USD per day per household.
    Regardless of the awesome situation faced these grandmothers struggle to raise food, income, clothes,household needs and pay school fees for their orphaned children despite their deterioting health.
    With grant support from FIRELIGHT FOUNDATION through PAZESA Horticultural Community, Grandmothers in chiparamba area of chipata district in Zambia undertake viable and sustainable fish farming and / or irrigation farming/horticulture in order to ensure all year round household owned food security, increased income and reduced poverty for the benefit of their orphaned children.Thanks to Firelight foundation, tides foundation and department of fisheries in chipata Zambia for their grant support to PAZESA Horticultural Community for the benefit of the children and their grandmothers(households).
    Special thanks to the Steven Lewis Foundation ,all concerned grandmothers,campaign particpants, Donors and organisations for this campaign! Let us unite the forces to support both the grandmothers and the orphaned grandchildren .check us on: http://

  • Moses Warah

    Grandmothers in my community are such an inspiration. Their warm lonely hearts of orphans left under their care, in fact they uplift the hopeless and encourage the defeated. They endure and cope with pain and disappointment. These are grandmothers raising grand children in my community of Kakmie sub-location, Onjiko location, Nyando district, Kisumu County , western Kenya.
    They wipe out tears of these orphans. Most of them have buried their husbands, sons and daughters, yet they continue to make sacrifices. Grandmothers in this community bless the lives around them more than they realize and they have touched several lives.They become mothers for the second time and We had a case where one of the Orphans survived on her grandmothers breast milk after both parents died of HIV/AIDS related sickness when she was one week old.It is very rare scenario and it happened.

  • Fridah Chimupeni

    It is a Monday morning, I get up to go the health centre where i receive my ARVs and my check ups. When I am waiting in a que, i cross my eyes against this elderly woman, carryng a six months old baby on her back. I try to find out what happened to the mother of the baby, she tells me that the mother died 6 months ago as she was sick. This old woman is taking care of this little baby, how i wish to find ways and means to support this little baby boy. Africa has got grandmums with a big heart who cares for their grand children.

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